© David Tam
Holy basil chicken fried rice
Recipes from the self-made BC-based YouTube star
The predecessor of this dish, pad gaprao, is a stir-fry of holy basil and ground meat served over rice and usually with a fried egg on top —unquestionably one of the most popular lunch items in Thailand.
Instead of serving the rice beside the stir-fry, some restaurants throw it all into a fine fried rice like this version here. If you’re tempted to skip the fried egg, please reconsider. You don’t have to fry the egg Thai-style if you want to conserve some oil: a sunny-side-up or an over-easy egg will do.
For the rice
6 oz. (180 g) chicken, ground, or other ground meats
1 tsp. (5 ml) soy sauce
as needed oil for frying eggs
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tbsp. (30 ml) vegetable oil
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
2-5 Thai chillies, finely chop
5 long beans, ½-inch (1.25-cm) pieces on a bias
⅓ c. (80 ml) onion, small dice
1 spur chili or ¼ red bell pepper, short julienne
1½ c. (375 ml) cooked rice
1 tsp. (5 ml) granulated sugar
1 c. (250 ml) Holy basil, Thai basil or regular basil
For the sauce
1 tbsp. (15 ml) oyster sauce
2 tsp. (10 ml) soy sauce
1 tsp. (5 ml) fish sauce
1 tsp. (5 ml) seasoning sauce Golden Mountai
1 tsp. (5 ml) black soy sauce
Combine the ground chicken and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of soy sauce in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Let sit in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a wok or small frying pan, add about ½ inch (1.25 cm) of oil. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Crack an egg into the centre of the pan; the egg white should bubble excitedly right away. If you like a medium to well-done yolk, lower the heat so the white doesn’t brown too quickly. As the egg cooks, baste the top of it with the hot oil. Once the edges of the egg white are browned and crispy, and the yolk done to your liking, remove and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining egg. Note: the egg should be floating on top of the oil; if parts of it stick to the pan, let it cook for a minute before gently nudging it off with a spatula.
Grease a small bowl generously with cooking oil, then add all the sauce ingredients to the bowl. (Greasing the bowl helps the thick sauce slide out more easily.) Heat the 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil in a wok or a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and Thai chillies; stir until the garlic starts to turn golden brown. Add the chicken and cook until it is 70 percent done. Add the long beans, onion and spur chili; toss to mix well. Add the rice, followed by the sauce mixture and sugar. Toss until the rice is evenly coated in the sauce, pressing down on rice lumps to break them apart. When the sauce has been completely absorbed (the rice should look dry), turn off the heat and stir in the basil just until it is incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Transfer to a plate, top with one fried egg per portion. You can use prik nam pla (a condiment of fish sauce and chillies) to season the egg, but it’s also great on the rice. Serves 2.
Tip: Mushy or clumpy fried rice is the most common fried-rice issue. Using cold rice helps, but the most important factor is that the rice is not cooked with too much water.
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